Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. Photo: Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Minneapolis Police Department is withdrawing from police union contract negotiations as a first step to reforming the agency, Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Wednesday.

The big picture: Arradondo said the contract needs to be restructured to provide transparency and “flexibility for true reform.” A thorough review will examine protocols for critical incidents, use of force, and disciplining officers.

  • Arradondo said it is "debilitating" when the department has grounds to terminate officers, but a third party works to keep them on the street.
  • He also promised to implement new strategies to identify bad officers.

Why it matters: The news comes as lawmakers are grappling with the politics of police unions as they face pressure to reform the departments they serve. Union resistance has been one of the biggest roadblocks to implementing changes to policing.

  • It also comes days after a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to begin the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department as it currently exists — though it's still unclear what will replace it.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said he does not support abolishing MPD, but has advocated for sweeping reforms and has blamed the police union for making it difficult to discipline and terminate officers.

What they're saying: “We will have a police department that our communities view as legitimate, trusting and working with their best interests at heart,” Arradondo said.

  • “This is about examining those significant matters that touch on things such as critical incident protocol, use of force, the significant role that supervisors play in this department, and also the discipline process to include both grievances and arbitration.”

Go deeper: Democrats face the changing politics of police unions

Go deeper

Harris rebukes Barr: "We do have two systems of justice in America"

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) pushed back on Attorney General Bill Barr's assertion on CNN that there are not two systems of justice in America, arguing that he and President Trump "are spending full time in a different reality."

Why it matters: The question of whether there is "systemic racism" in policing and criminal justice is a clear, dividing line between Democrats and the Trump administration.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.